The paper mulberry is one of the multifunctional tree species in agroforestry systems and is also commonly utilized in traditional medicine in China and other Asian countries. However, little is known about its molecular genetics, which hinders research on and exploitation of this valuable resource. To discern the correlation between gene expression and the essential properties of the paper mulberry, we performed a transcriptomics analysis, assembling a total of 37,725 unigenes from 54,638,676 reads generated by RNA-seq. Among these, 22,692 unigenes showed greater than 60% similarity with genes from other species. The lengths of 13,566 annotated unigenes were longer than 1,000 bp. Functional clustering analysis with COG (Cluster of Orthologous Groups) revealed that 17,184 unigenes are primarily involved in transcription, translation, signal transduction, carbohydrate metabolism, secondary metabolism, and energy metabolism. GO (Gene Ontology) annotation suggests enrichment of genes encoding antioxidant activity, transporter activity, biosynthesis, metabolism and stress response, with a total of 30,659 unigenes falling in these categories. KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) metabolic pathway analysis showed that 7,199 unigenes are associated with 119 metabolic pathways. In addition to the basic metabolism, these genes are enriched for plant pathogen interaction, flavonoid metabolism and other secondary metabolic processes. Furthermore, differences in the transcriptomes of leaf, stem and root tissues were analyzed and 7,233 specifically expressed unigenes were identified. This global expression analysis provided novel insights about the molecular mechanisms of the biosynthesis of flavonoid, lignin and cellulose, as well as on the response to biotic and abiotic stresses including the remediation of contaminated soil by the paper mulberry.